Click. And patiently await the arrival of the perpetually clad-in-brown UPS man. In a world where sharpening your style is a simple mouse click away, online shopping is consumerism made easy. And while the first online shopping destinations that may pop into your mind are the usual suspects — Amazon and eBay — South Florida is home to a spate of e-commerce businesses. And many are helmed by young female entrepreneurs vying for a piece of the action.
“Miami is full of culture, style and talent. We’re exposed to such a large diversity of culture and the city is continually growing — making it the ideal place to base an online business,” Furormoda.com Founder Tatiana Torres says. In business for the past three and a half years, her Coral Gables-based office is brimming with on-trend women’s clothing at wallet-friendly prices. Her biggest tip for budding e-shop entrepreneurs? “You have the opportunity to reach millions of people around the world with your brand through social media: Keep your message consistent and true to your mission,” she says.
Over in Hollywood, Amanda Baumann spearheads the meticulously curated home décor site, ShopHDB.com. While in law school, her love for hard-to-find clothing, accessories, art and décor served as the impetus for her site. As for the most common mistake she’s encountered in the e-commerce realm and its solution, Baumann advises, “Since the customer only sees your product via the internet and can't get a sense of its texture or size by seeing it person and in its natural element, the image of the item must resemble the actual item as close as possible.”
Working from the LAB Miami in Wynwood, you’ll find Vividly.co’s Co-Founder Sabrina Scandar. The unique site works with artists to help them share their art through clothing, offering customers rare pieces featuring original art. Her biggest challenge? “Selling clothes online has become such a crowded space that it's hard to stand out from the thousands of other brands and marketplaces clamoring for consumer attention. Marketing can be all-consuming and expensive so we use free marketing as much as possible through social media and email marketing,” Scandar says.
For Valerie Biener, Co-Founder of Voguette.com, Brickell is home to her travel-inspired women’s fashion clothing and accessories site. In business since 2008, Miami is her muse when culling collections. “Most of our buying is influenced by the colorful and tropical surroundings of Miami and I tend to chose bright and happy colors,” Biener says. As for the best aspect about running a Miami-based e-commerce site, she adds, “Miami innately offers fantastic and endless shooting locations for our photo shoots. It’s a melting pot of cultures and conveniently located for us geographically for inbound shipping and travel to buy.”
And that’s e-mazing for budding e-retailers.